You remember the moment after Rex proposed to you with a clarity usually reserved for the birth or death of a child. You can still feel the itch of the car seat on your back, and the way Rex took your silence to be shock, when really it was mourning. You were grieving for your lost innocence, and for the time when you did not need someone to tell you the best was yet to come, you knew it instinctively. In contrast, the moment you said yes to him is fuzzy, a cuddly toy you do not dare to look at or touch because under scrutiny it will fall apart, and you won’t be able to avoid the fact it has no heart whatsoever.
The silence you experienced that night in Rex’s car is a different silence to the one which pervades the room when Rex asks you what happened to the Bree he married, the one who drank milk out of cartons. This silence builds slowly, each moment it is not broken makes it stronger, and every time you surface above it another wave pushes the words back down your throat. What you want to say is that it is because you were living in parallel universes, each expecting something different out of your marriage. You were ready to give up everything, even happiness, for your marriage to work, and Rex was just willing to give up. You didn’t realize then that it was simply because you were prepared to give up everything that you had to.
It is only when you are in the hospital with him that you finally manage to claw through the glass separating you enough to feel the warmth of his body. Close enough so that he realises the woman he loved disappeared because he stopped looking for her, that he is gone again.
Again different is the silence that passes between you and Danielle when she found you making the bed, that was a sad silence in which you noticed you had been so busy making sure everyone thinks you know her and Andrew, you have pushed them away further than you can reach. You have not stopped to notice them growing up, which means you still treat them like they need protecting, and they hate you for that. The look in Danielle’s eyes did not say ‘I hate you for what you have done to me’, it said ‘I hate you for what you have not done’, and that is infinitely worse.
The worst kind of silence though, is the silence in the seconds after you put the phone down on the doctor. This is true silence, because silence is an absence of everything, and there is nothing left. You have lost your children, and now you have lost your husband, although you only just found him. If it was something else, you would cry, but this loss is so great, nothingness is the only was to express it. The façade has always worked before because having something to hide is having something to keep it in place, but now there is nothing to hide, nothing to lose, so there is no façade left, just you.
You find yourself sitting on Lynette’s sofa, because you needed some company and haven’t told her about Rex yet, although the look on her face says she knows something is up. This is why you came to her, because she knows not to push you, she knows how to make you feel at ease, how to make you feel safe. She tells you about Tom, his job and how she doesn’t understand him anymore. Suddenly, your relationship comes into perfect focus. She and Tom are living in different universes too, he wants her to love him unconditionally, she is afraid of letting go and getting burned. Lynette then mentions how Penny has been asleep for 2 hours, and that this is a rarity, silence is golden she says. With those three words, all your thoughts about your family come cascading out into the open, breathing for the first time in years. She cradles you in her arms, holding you tight long into the night. You can feel the warmth of her body, and you promise yourself you won’t let her go like you have done everything else.
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